Elina Svitolina stretched every sinew in a brilliant display of defensive tennis to register the biggest win of her career when she rallied for a 3-6 6-2 6-2 triumph over Sloane Stephens in an enthralling WTA Finals title decider on Sunday.
— WTA (@WTA) October 28, 2018
Ukrainian Svitolina had arrived in Singapore woefully out of form, but gathered momentum as the tournament progressed, winning all three pool matches and the semi-final before subduing Stephens in the final.
"This is a very special moment for me in my career and it will give me plenty of confidence for the season coming ahead, I am really pleased with my performance," Svitolina said as she received the Billie Jean King trophy.
There was very little to differentiate between the players as the match proceeded. Svitolina however enjoyed the the initial breakthrough in the second set when she capitalised on untidy play from Stephens.
The Ukrainian was pumping her fist enthusiastically after every winning point in comparison to her opponent who appeared lethargic.
The world number seven was dictating terms as Stephens struggled to match Svitolina`s relentless pace with the Ukrainian moving 3-0 ahead after edging two epic games.
Stephens made one final effort to fight her way back into the match, but Svitolina forceed her opponent into unforced errors as she sought winners and wrapped up a memorable victory when Stephens skewed a backhand wide.
"I am super happy that I was able to finish off the season the way I did. Obviously, it was not the result I wanted but I worked really hard to get here, am proud of my play and really pleased with what I did this week," Stephens said.
Svitolina`s triumph was her 13th victory in 15 finals and should fill her with confidence as she looks to make a Grand Slam breakthrough in 2019.